|Artemisia adds a silver touch to landscapes|
There are over 300 species of Artemisia (Ahr-tuh-MIZ-ee-uh); each one has its own special features from height, leaf shape or color to aromas that range from clean and refreshing to acrid and repugnant. They are used for landscaping, cooking, and crafting. Their oils are used as insect repellents, perfume additives and are important ingredients in malaria medicines.
Artemisia species have a wide variety of heights and leaf textures, offering a range of landscape choices from borders to background plants. Artemisia plants can be as small as Silver Brocade (A. stelleriana), often called Dusty Miller, at six inches or as tall as Sweet Annie (A. annua) often reaching six feet. The silver, grey and green colors provide good backdrops to the more colorful plants in the garden.While each species has its own growing requirements, most are perennials, hardy as far north as zone 4, prefer sun or partial sun exposure and like well-drained soil.
|The culinary favorite, French Tarragon, is an artemisia|
Silver King (A. ludoviciana) and Powis Castle (A. arborescens ) are usually the silver color in many dried wreaths and flower arrangements. They are easy to dry and go with any color palette.
|Silver King artemisia provides a background that shows off colors|
Sweet Annie provides a yellow-green leaf and small yellow flowers and is also good for dried crafting. For some, this herb has a pleasant fragrance but not for others. This plant was used historically as a medicine but it can produce allergic reactions, rashes and congestion in some individuals just by handling the plants.
|Flowers of Sweet Annie artemisia|
Approved by the Federal Drug Administration and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, the component artemisinin found in Artemisia annua (Sweet Annie is used for treatment of malaria, most often in combination with other drugs. This has been found to be as effective as quinine.
Are you interested in Artemisia plants? The Master Gardener plant sale on May 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. will feature both Silver King and Silver Mound plants as well as a variety of other plants grown and donated by members.Also check out the The Herb Society of America (HSA) Notable Native Herb for 2014 - Redring Milkweed (Asclepias variegate), our Blog entry on this plant, and the Master Gardener’s Redring MilkweedProject.
Masters Gardeners, Penn State Extension, Franklin County have presentations, events and workshops throughout the year. To be added to the e-mail event schedule list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 717-263-9226.